My First Encounter With God
Hi my name is Patrick Grant, and I'd like to share about my first encounter with God. I was born and raised Catholic, a cradle Catholic. My family and I would go to mass every Sunday, we'd go to confession whenever possible, I'd serve on the altar whenever I could, everything a good Catholic normally does! Even though I did all this, I still never had a very deep relationship with Christ and I never reall experienced his voice or presence. So I'd do whatever I could to strengthen my relationship with God. I'd go to conferences, retreats, camps, anything. Everywhere I went the speakers would always say: "If you haven't experienced God before now, now is your time!". Unfortunately, it never seemed to be my time.
A couple years ago, I was on a great retreat! I met new people, learned about prayer, had daily mass, adoration, it was great! It was the middle of the week and I still hadn't really felt God and I was getting discouraged. The evening rolled by Wednesday night and we went into a time of adoration. I had just got out of confession and I was kneeling down in front of the monstarence. There was soft music playing in the background and I remember saying: "God I need you. I need to here Your voice." I looked up at the cross and immediately felt an overwhelming sense of love and peace! I was in total awe of this feeling and I shed a few tears when I realized God was speaking to me for the first time. I realized I had a lot of hidden self hatred within myself. I thought nobody liked me because of my weirdness and it made me dislike myself. At that moment though God told me there was nothing to fear because he would always love me.
Don't get me wrong, God doesn't speak to me like this everyday. There's still moments where I feel as though I'm not loved. Now I know that's not true and I go back to that moment in adoration and remember there will always be one that loves me. I'm still striving for a deeper relationship with God and probably always will, but knowing that He'll be with me gives me strength. So I encourage you, if you've never felt God before, to keep praying and hold fast to God's love and He will, in time, will reveal himself to you. Thank you and God bless.